The word Minnesota comes from a Dakota (Sioux) word meaning “sky-tinted water”. The state of Minnesota is also known as the “land of 10,000 lakes”, for good reason. In addition to being the center of the U.S. Scandinavian culture, it also boasts hundreds of miles of beautiful forests, and crystal clear lakes and streams. These waters are full of perch, pike, muskellunge, and walleyes. Whether you are trying your luck in a Dark-House, through the ice, or trolling for summertime walleyes, knowing a few Minnesota fishing tips can prove helpful.
- Northern Pike prefer cooler water than Muskellunges, so they start biting first, soon after ice-out. For both species, in early spring, troll spinners and crank-baits along deeper weed-beds.
- Northern Pike seldom bite during the spawn, so when the water temperature is around 40°F to 45°F, it might be a good idea to fish for something else for a bit. Spawning usually last for around a month or so. Then, they will be back on their feed.
- Use a longer rod for Northern Pike, up to 8 feet, or more. This will allow you to cast farther, give you more control when reeling lures through weed-beds, give you more leverage for hook-sets, and allow you to control the fish better.
- Keep your hands away from a pike, or muskie's mouth as much as possible when unhooking them. Those teeth are there for a reason. Use a hook-out device, and wear gloves.
- When using a crank-bait for pike or walleyes, try to match the color and size of local bait-fish as closely as possible. This will result in more hits.
- If the walleyes seem to be moving a bit slow, try switching to leeches. Leeches are slow-moving, and lethargic fish often prefer them for an easy meal.
- A lot of states have special rules for different bodies of water, but Minnesota seems to carry it to extremes at times. Be sure to know the rules for the body of water your fishing on.
- Cold-Fronts have a tendency to cause fish to get lock-jaw. Wait 24-48 hours after a cold front moves through to go fishing.
- One of the best baits for black bass is a plastic worm, preferably in purple. Fish it directly in cover, Texas-Rigged, as slowly as you can stand it. In the spring, plastic crawfish and lizards are also deadly. Fish them the same way.
- If you see large flocks of wheeling and diving birds over the water, fish right under them. Chances are, there are large schools of bait-fish, and underneath them will be large schools of striped or white bass, and maybe other species.
Minnesota offers some great fishing opportunities, and they can be even better if you keep in mind a few Minnesota fishing tips on your next excursion.